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Don Quixote

The Englishman

St George he was for England,
And before he killed the dragon
He drank a pint of English ale
Out of an English flagon.
For though he fast right readily
In hair-shirt or in mail,
It isn't safe to give him cakes
Unless you give him ale.

St George he was for England,
And right gallantly set free
The lady left for dragon's meat
And tied up to a tree;
But since he stood for England
And knew what England means,
Unless you give him bacon
You mustn't give him beans.

St George he is for England,
And shall wear the shield he wore
When we go out in armour
With battle-cross before.
But though he is jolly company
And very pleased to dine,
It isn't safe to give him nuts
Unless you give him wine.

G. K. Chesterton


(I've spent a couple of decades assuming this was a lengthy fart joke, but I may be wrong.)
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Comments

[Brer] I would have figured this intimated that "The English can't do anything great without being drunk" since it ends the first and last stanzas with beer and wine.

However the beans and bacon just ruins that whole idea, as nice as they are, and all. Maybe it just means y'all like to snack before going into battle?

...And what's with the nuts and wine? Nuts and ale! Cakes and... er... mead! I suppose.

These days he'd be stuck trying to find a rhyme for 'wasabi peas'...